After Cyrus had traversed Lydia and
Phrygia as well as the regions bordering on Cappadocia, he arrived at the boundaries of Cilicia
and the entrance at the Cilician Gates. This pass is narrow and precipitous, twenty stades in
length, and bordering it on both sides are exceedingly high and inaccessible mountains; and
walls stretch down on each side from the mountains as far as the roadway, where gates have been
built across it.
Leading his army through these gates, Cyrus
entered a plain which in beauty yields to no plain in Asia, and through which he advanced to
Tarsus, the largest city of Cilicia, which he speedily mastered. When Syennesis, the lord of
Cilicia, heard of the great size of the hostile army, he was at a great loss, since he was no
match for it in battle.
When he was summoned to Cyrus'
presence and had been given pledges, he went to him, and on learning the truth about the war he
agreed to join him as an ally against Artaxerxes; and he sent one of his two sons along with
Cyrus, giving him also a strong contingent of Cilicians for his army. For Syennesis, being by
nature unscrupulous and having adjusted himself to the uncertainty of Fortune, had dispatched
his other son secretly to the King to reveal to him the armaments that had been gathered
against him and to assure him that he took the part of Cyrus out of necessity, but that he was
still faithful to the King and, when the opportunity arose, would desert Cyrus and join the
army of the King.
his army twenty days in Tarsus, and after this, when he would have resumed the march, the
troops suspected that the campaign was against Artaxerxes. And as each man reckoned up the
length of the distances entailed and the multitude of hostile peoples through whom they would
have to pass, he was filled with the deepest anxiety; for the word had got about that it was a
four months' march for an army to Bactria and that a force of more than four hundred thousand
soldiers had been mustered for the King.
soldiers became most fearful and vexed, and in anger at their commanders they attempted to kill
them on the ground that the commanders had betrayed them. But when Cyrus entreated one and all
of them and assured them that he was leading the army, not against Artaxerxes, but against a
certain satrap of Syria, the soldiers yielded, and when they had received an increase in pay,
they resumed their former loyalty to him.